Tag Archives: Robert Downey Jr

Why Tropic Thunder Should’ve Won An Oscar

In 2008 There was two geek properties that had a match lit under them.  On of these properties was The Dark Knight.  Everything about this movie was on point.  The Marketing was great, it had a great director, but what really set it off was it’s iconic villain. The Joker, who has steadily changed the face of villains for time to come.  He was smart, funny cool, and had a real distinct look about him.  Most of all he was terrifying.  Everything about this performance was on point.  The voice, the clothes, the posturing, even Heath Ledger’s unfortunate passing bled into the mystique of the character.

The other geek property which set fire to the industry if not more so.  Ironman was a slightly smaller hit, I remember when it came out everybody referred to it as ” better then Spiderman”  Ever since TDK came out there was a blatant turn on spiderman by the general public , but before that it was the pinnacle of superhero movies.  Ironman ushered in a wave of spinoffs prequels, and worked in the concept of a shared universe among movies which had only been hinted at before.

Ironman ultimately got overshadowed by TDK, but not completely gobbled up like The Incredible Hulk.  In retrospect I prefer Ironman over The Dark Knight, and my love for Robert Downey Jr. blossomed.  Later that summer Tropic Thunder came out.  A movie directed by Ben Stiller, which I thought I would hate, but actually liked it okay.  Everytime I see it I find new things to love about it and it gets better every time, but one thing that stood out was Kirk Lazarus as an Irish Award season darling, who was playing a black soldier in a Vietnam war movie.  It sounds dumb, and it was, but in the best way possible.

Now I’m going to be hypothetic as I would never take an Oscar from the Great Ledger, but let’s say Heath hadn’t tragically passed, who he had deserved an Oscar? Any other year I’d say yes, but here I  gotta say no.

Ironically everything you can say good about Heath’s performance you can say about Downey’s.  Heath Stole every scene he was in, he had several ticks, he made the movie.  Same can be said as Robert.  Only one was funny and one was terrifying.  There’s even a level of make up that adds to the parallel performances, and makes them more interesting aesthetically.  Nominations were announced and Robert got himself nominated for an Oscar for best supporting.

To me the best thing about Robert’s performance is the layers of character and irony. ” I’m a dude playing a dude disquised as another dude”.  It’s a real statement on actor’s and the ways actors get Oscars.  In some ways it’s an Oscar bait performance mocking oscar bait performances.   You have the total unrecognizable transformation, the make up, and the double accent.    Same can be said as Heath’s performance. Except one is the definitive supervillian and one is black face.  You can’t sum up RDJ’s performance in one sentence and do it justice.  It’s a parody of Russell Crowe and Daniel Day Lewis, it’s also a statement on how actors transform themselves whilst having an actor transform himself, it’s also a statement on how far actors are willing to take risky career choices for an Oscar, whilst once again having an actor take a risky career movie, it’s also a parody of Robert Downey Jr himself, it’s also a metaphor for not knowing who you really are. The fact that the Academy actually nominated this performance is hilarious in itself.

The Joker is just crazy, which can be interesting and is, but Kirk Lazarus is also crazy, and we really delve into his character’s psyche.  We get a very subtle understanding of why he does what he does, and we understand this.  The Joker doesn’t really get any real explanation, and why that makes for him being more captivating it doesn’t add for a more fleshed out character, which to me lends itself to a better performance.


5 Reasons Ironman 3 Could Make a Billion

This will be my most biased article ever. I think Robert Downey Jr. is the most versatile and talented actor working today. The fact that this man can get nominated in black face really shows how compelling he is and his screen presence. I think literally every other role he takes is Oscar Caliber which is something I can rarely say about a block buster actor. Ironman is my favorite Superhero, Ironman is my second favorite movie only behind Avengers. But Biased aside, Ironman really ushered in a new wave of Superhero movies.  It’s also a really reliable franchise, but not something that completely breaks the box office bank , like Lord Of The Rings, Spiderman, or a number of other geek properties.

But this year wishful thinking tells me that he might just hit that Billion dollar mark.  It doesn’t matter the movie will make money, it will more then likely be great, and possibly even better then the avengers.

Lack of Immediate Competition

Ironman 3 has two full weeks of no real domestic threat of competition. Of course Star Trek 2 will be coming out another great geek property, but Billion dollar movies happen because of repeat business. I saw The Avengers and The Dark Knight twice in theaters.  That means geeks can not only see it twice in one weekend, they have two whole weeks to gear up for Star Trek 2.  If I was Marvel and Paramount I’d market the fact that these two geek properties are lined up. ” Get Ready for Star Trek 2 , by watching Ironman 3″.

Even more so most billion dollar movies don’t make their money domestically they make them oversees.  Ironman is coming out a whole week earlier in other places to soak up that International Foreign money.  It worked for Amazing Spiderman which didn’t get completely squashed by Dark Knight Rises by coming out early and making it’s money internationally.

First Out Of The Gate

Studios are getting smarter, they know the best time to release a summer block buster.. is anytime but Summer. Sure you have your Dark Knight’s which can be released any time, but a lot of box office titans are released slightly before summer, August, Christmas , or before Oscar Season.  Thor and Fast Five where the first out of the gate and both exceeded expectations.  Avengers was the first movie pre summer and killed the box office and poor Battle Ship, and Dark Shadows.

Robert Downey Jr. 

Robert is still one of the few actors who have a reliable star power and box office draw.  Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, and Jim Carrey three box office titans are only as strong as their franchises now a days.  Channing Tatum is the only other guy who really brings people in on name alone, and he doesn’t have a single movie over half a billion while RDJ has five.

3D and IMAX

If I honestly sat down with myself and said, how much do you honestly think Ironman 3 is going to make I’d say around 700 – 800 Million. They say the 3D bumps up the average ticket cost by 20 percent.  That means for every say Hundred Million you get an extra 20 Million without fractioning in IMAX and other factors. Not to mention Inflattion, Ironman 3 has a really big boost, as a billion dollars is meaning less and less ticket sales now a days.

Franchise Power.

Avengers was a super hit , and now everybody and their son daughter grandmother, wants more Avengers.  Ironman 3 is the closest people are going to get to another Avengers.  Not to mention that Ironman was a huge success. Rules of franchises go the first movie makes the least amount the second movie, if good, makes a significant amount.  The Dark Knight franchise went from 400 Million to one Billion, by having a good sequel.  Ironman 2 of course wasn’t perceived as well as Ironman 1, and therefore didn’t have the sequel jump in box office that Lord of The Rings and The Dark Knight had.

But there is a silver Lining.  After making a sub par sequel if you make a really good second sequel it makes a lot of money SkyFall for example.  Haters of the second Ironman movie will love this one and Fans of Ironman will also come.  They bank double. Not only that, the marketing is really pushing this Ironman as darker and more serious.  Almost to say “That last movie sucked but we got this one right”. Some peoples complaints about Avengers, which where unjust, was that it was a kid’s movie.  Here comes Ironman 3 looking all dark and stuff.  Not to mention they have a new director and writer who both have a built in fan base in Shane Black and Drew Pearce.  Not to mention the Disney Marketing Machine, which has been going crazy over the past month, even I’m getting a little tired of the constant tv spots. Just Kidding I love each and every one of them.

The biggest factor of course will be word of mouth, which nobody can really forecast or foresee.  Something Tells me not only will this be the best Ironman movie this might just end up on every bodies end of year best lists.